Reader’s letter This is a discussion entry, written by an outside contributor. The publication expresses the author’s opinions.
Mayor Lynn Conrady and RHA Social Welfare Main Committee Chair Cecily Lindgren wrote on Tuesday that “There should be room for everyone in Asker”, Thus it offers a long-term housing policy for Asker.
They write, among other things: “Askar’s housing development is about having a future-oriented housing development that solves the need for a larger range of housing demanded by the market,” And the “Future housing policy will be pivotal in solving the municipality’s challenges, whether it is about attracting families with children and the workforce, as we are getting older, or reducing our impact on the climate.”
It is true that housing policy contributes to all three dimensions of sustainability – municipal climate-related sustainability, social and economic sustainability.
We want a future-oriented residential development that solves the need for greater housing diversity
Asker is known to be a large municipality in the Oslo region where there is price pressure on housing, at the same time the Asker community is completely dependent on a wide range of future workforce as well, which means that housing is more expensive. Housing must be provided for. It is indicated that private actors should be given long-term predictability of investments in Asker.
This is an exciting and important work that will be approved by a thematic plan in 2024.
However, the mayor and committee chair don’t write much about how to achieve these goals. The starting shot has just been given. The plan should be designed through good engagement processes where knowledge and participation are central.
When the beautiful Asker villa areas are already protected before the starting line, the central residential areas are already very organized and expensive, and most of the new residential areas will be far from public transportation hubs – as well as conflicting in terms of natural diversity or topsoil – the question must be asked how – And not least where – these good goals must be achieved. It is time for real politics rather than partisan rhetoric.
Hallenskog stands out as part of the solution. This is an area in the center of Askar where residential plots are not very expensive. Since the plots are large, there are good opportunities to create and experiment with new forms of living in detached houses and to develop the yard. The area has a great location near the Blåfjell nature field/preserve and has no topsoil. With modern forms of fine commuting and the relatively short distances to both Heggedal station and Røyken station, the municipality itself can control that development is not dependent on the car.
The development could go hand in hand with the necessary investments in road, water and sewer infrastructure, which in any case are necessary to adequately prepare for the more than 250 families already living in Halinskog.
In the current municipal plan, Hallenskog is designated as a future residential area. Due to the terms of the system, development – which many individuals had high expectations and based their investment on – was put on hold for a long time.
In the new municipal plan, which is expected to be adopted in the winter of 2023, on the other hand, it is proposed to change Hallenskog to LNF districts!
It is very unfortunate, after several decades of planning, that these wonderful, directly accessible residential areas missed the finish line when the Askar municipality’s substantive plan “Sustainable Housing Policy” was adopted in 2024.
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